Monday, March 18, 2024

Green Lantern Corps #4-5 (February-March, 2012)

The planet Xabas. A team of Green Lanterns with depleted power rings led by John Stewart were surrounded by robot ninja dudes possessed of emerald energy weapons of their own. Said weapons were demonstrated as useless against the ninja dudes, thanks to DNA signatures. The head ninja dude saw the fire in Stewart's eyes, even in surrender. "We spit on all treaties, and surrender's abhorrent to you as it is to us... That's why I feel you still need... the proper motivation." Head ninja dude stabbed a bald Caucasian Green Lantern in the head, spilling conveniently purple blood.

On Oa, Guy Gardner was torturing a captured ninja dude for information. Without the standard issue black armor, he looked like Chemo on Slimfast with a skeleton floating inside. Six pages in, I learned the ninja dudes are called Keepers, but I still don't know the name of the executed GL. Gardner tried to play good cop/bad cop with Salaak, but the old alien was too much of a fuddy-duddy to go full Patriot Act on the Keeper. The Keepers were slaughtering whole planets full of people, but to Green Lanterns, that sounds like Tuesday.

Elsewhere, some big rocky Lantern named Kannu was beating up actual rocks and himself over leaving a fellow corpsman behind. Elsewhere elsewhere, the reptilian Isamot Kol was trying to work a power ring with his tongue in a training session, since his arms and legs were still regrowing. Sheriff Mardin recommended he switch to his tail, since the ring apparently tasted terrible. I think these guys had all escaped Xabas, unlike poor Unnamed Cannon Fodder, who shall long be mourned. After all, John Stewart needed something else to feel guilty about.

The GL POWs were teleported to a barren world pocked by power battery impressions. "Be prepared to lose your will and maybe your lives... as you cross the Emerald Plains."

Guy Gardner continued his brutal interrogation, but not drugs nor violence nor threats could break the Keeper. From out of nowhere came the Martian Manhunter, with whom the Green Lantern apparently has no prior history in the New 52. J'Onn J'Onzz informed Gardner of his identity and position with Stormwatch, fully intending to wipe the Lantern's memory after extracting all relevant information from the Keeper's mind. As it turned out, what they kept were GL power batteries, on the plain where Lanterns could send their power sources to keep them from being left otherwise unattended. That situation turned sour, and now the Keepers were headed for Oa to claim the Central Power Battery...

"Prisoners of War" & "Mean Machine" was by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna. Remember that old Stan Lee saying about how every comic is somebody's first? Tomasi doesn't. See, this was my first issue of GLC since the Mongul arc from volume one. I don't think many of the corpsmen here who were in that story. I don't know these guys, and I don't feel like I got much of an introduction. Guy Gardner playing Jack Bauer was in character, but Martian Manhunter came right out of Tomasi's poop chute to get all mindrapey. You know what kind of comics I don't need to read? Vague ones with nothing new or interesting to say except to tell me that all my funny JLI issues don't count anymore. I've got a few longboxes of that good stuff, and they're the only reason I bought this book... once.

Here's a fun fact-- if the previous text came off as coarse or flippant, there's a reason for that. It was written in the time period of the comic. The draft was last updated in late January of 2012, over a dozen years ago, art and all. I never got around to buying the second part of the story, and this was also in a period where I was overburdening myself trying to do New 52 posts across all my DC blogs at the same time. No wonder I burnt out. I do not missing scanning comics, either. So yes, I was in a much different head space in the moment, rather than looking back on the ambiguities of a then-new continuity that has become increasingly irrelevant. I mean, this was so early on that they were still coloring the New 52 costume dark blue, and honestly, I miss that. Also, I used Pasarin's art for my April Fool's 2012 New 52 Wave 3 Martian Manhunter #1!, which got a lot of views at the time, so maybe I didn't want to step on that action. Man, I really liked his art, and still wonder why he didn't have a better career. Where's his Ghost Machine title? As much as I enjoy Eddy Barrows, I wish they'd gone with "my" book instead of the Rob Williams' series that I didn't finish reading.

Anyway, I never bothered completing my coverage before because J'Onn is barely in the next issue, and absent entirely from the finale. After giving Guy the information outright torture wasn't yielding, the Manhunter also inspired Gardner to pull together a group of rebel Lanterns to help save their comrades. Also, John Stewart snapped the neck of one of his own men to prevent his weakness from giving Oa over to the bad guys, because Tomasi can too grimdark as hard as Geoff. Oh, and the Alien Atlas did all this because it was out of Stormwatch's scope, and he apparently mindwiped all the Lanterns so they wouldn't remember his involvement. No wonder I was such a pill back then.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Legion Lost #6 (April, 2012)

This is, like, a dozen years late, so I'll keep it short. Timber Wolf and Chameleon Girl had been captured and held at "The Clinic," a secret government stronghold to study alien life forms and technology for defensive applications. Martian Manhunter had been tasked by Stormwatch with following unique energy signatures detected when the time-tossed Legionnaires arrived in the 21st Century. J'Onn J'Onzz was shocked to find that Brin Londo could "see" through his invisibility and altering the perceptions of the Clinic's staff. The Sleuth from Outer Space struggled to read the evolved 30th Century minds, and also was surprised that Timber Wolf knew who he was (the New 52 still hadn't firmly decided if he was a publicly known hero, but he's a legend in the future.) The other Legionnaires worked to release their comrades, which led to a confrontation between Manhunter and Wildfire. The cooler head of Tyroc prevailed, as he negotiated with and fully opened his mind to the Manhunter from Mars. The Alien Atlas then helped Chameleon Girl regain her natural form and eventually consciousness by helping her to absorb needed biomass from a Durlan corpse held in the facility. Having gotten his answers, he then left the Legion to their own devices. After all, "Time-travel is a strictly one way trip. You cannot return home. You're all going to die here."

"Inevitable" was by Fabian Nicieza & Tom DeFalco and Pete Woods & Matt Camp. Although I don't know if we needed such a sinister Manhunter, those edges got knocked off as the New 52 progressed. I enjoyed the visuals for the Martian Marvel in this issue, giving him giant cartoon hands to carry Yera Allon or shapeshift into a dragon like in the opening credits of the Justice League cartoon. There's a reason why Jim Lee's redesign has survived to the present, when so little else from nü-DC's terrible teens can still be seen.

Monday, March 4, 2024

2023 Natural Martian art by Dee Kilroy

I've been wording a lot lately, and am taking advantage of the opportunity to week off on a picturing. Hopefully not divulging too much via the following quote from the artist...
Stumbled across the Rolled Spine 'casts last year, seeing as nobody else out there has much, if any, active interest in niche nonsense like Continuity Comics, or long-forgotten Image books. It's been a wild ride, catching up. Been a boon, too. I've been recovering from a skull fracture and having my drawing hand stitched back together, so every moment of laughter helps.